Complete Resolution of Munir’s Murder, A Step Towards Ending the Impunity
On the eighth anniversary of the murder of the prominent Indonesian human rights defender Munir Said Thalib, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), chaired by Munir from 2003 until the time of his death, joins the human rights community’s call on the Indonesian government to reopen the investigation on the murder case. The AFAD is concerned that all those responsible for his death be brought to justice, thus making a significant breakthrough in the fight against the prevailing impunity from human rights violations committed against human rights defenders in Indonesia.
Bangkok, 30 August, 2012 : On the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared, the Justice for Peace Foundation (JPF) and the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) commend the Thai government for signing the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance in January this year. Both the JPF and the AFAD further express appreciation to the Thai government for committing to provide reparation to victims of enforced disappearances by the end of this year to victims from the southern boarding provinces from 2004. This commitment is seen as an integral part in the whole process of the government’s commitment to respond to the victims’ families’ need for truth and justice.
On the International Day of the Disappeared, the human rights organization Odhikar notes with deep concern the increase in incidents of disappearances in Bangladesh and the inability of the government to deal with such heinous acts – thus reinforcing the politics of intimidation and fear. Odhikar is particularly concerned about the manifested lack of sensitivity to the issue and absence of any steps that could assure the government’s commitment to good governance with regard to disciplining the law and order enforcement apparatus of the country. The enforced disappearance of political leaders is an alarming trend and has already thrown Bangladesh into political instability and uncertainties. The disappearance and killing of labour leader Aminul Islam has significantly reduced the government’s international image and graphically proved again the horrendous state of intimidation and repression suffered by garment workers, who are the backbone of export earnings for the country.
Enforced disappearance keeps taking place, with 67 cases reported in Bangladesh after the assumption of office by the Awami League-led government.
International Day of the Disappeared will be observed today in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world.
According to rights group Odhikar, although the number of people who disappeared is high, 67 cases after the Awami League and Jatiya Party-led alliance government came to power in 2009 are clearly of the category of ‘enforced disappearance’ as defined by the international human rights law, particularly the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.